Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
Former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairmen under the auspices Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) have said that their defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state is tantamount to getting to their Promised Land.
All but one of the suspended by reinstated council chairs had earlier in the year defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
ALGON is reacting to a statement credited to one pro-democracy group named: Kwara Solidarity and Integrity Forum (KSIF) that the governor is using instrument of state to coerce chairmen and other political office holders at the local government to join All ProgressivesmCongress (APC).
In a statement, state ALGON chairman and Secretary Joshua Omokanye and Abdullahi Bata said: “The state cannot be set into anarchy as we can boldly say that the governor is a peace-loving man, struggling to rebuild the decrepit state.
“Our defection (all council chairmen except one) and other political office holders at the local government level was concluded last year. It isn’t a new development. Earlier this year, we were with APC members in Patigi (in solidarity) during the party’s campaign ahead of the House of Assembly bye-election, among other outings we’ve have been politically involved. We are citing these instances to nail any misgiving about our long-concluded defection.
“KSIF should not be in anyway dismayed simply because we are free to exercise our rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.The unprecedented achievements of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq across all sectors within a year in office served as impetus.
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“The collective decision was reached after exhaustive consultations and deliberation with our members, it was unanimously decided that the best option for us would be to pitch tent with APC under the leadership of Governor AbdulRazaq.
“Our choice to work together is in the overall interest of the good people of the state, coupled with the way and matured manner he has been handling local government issues in the state.
“Therefore, it’s in furtherance of our belief that we members of ALGON, Kwara State chapter hereby declare for APC and call on our supporters and well-wishers to join hands with Governor Abdulrasaq-led administration to move the state forward.
For avoidance of doubt, there is need to state it categorically that the governor did not force, intimidate, coerce or harass any members of the local government council executives and legislature in the state to defect to his party.
“We are at liberty to make our choice and we have done so. We have since quit PDP months ago. The leadership has since dissociated with us. So, the issue of being threatened with salary seizures and arrest by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officials didn’t manifest anywhere.
“As compared to some other PDP-controlled states where the state chief executives have turned themselves to Lords, maltreating local government executives; Kwara state edges above them. It is important to note that all the political office holders are being paid salary including the recalcitrant one. So, nothing justifies coercion from the side of the governor.”